LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Terence George TRUSKETT

Service No: 428001
Born: Wilmot TAS, 27 December 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 July 1942
Unit: No. 1653 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Station North Luffenham
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1653 Conversion Unit Lancaster aircraft FD431), North Luffenham, 4 March 1945, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John William and Dora Anne Truskett, of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Launceston TAS
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1130 hours on the 4 March 1945 Lancaster FD431 took off from North Luffenham detailed for a cross country training flight. The aircraft returned to base about 1600 hours, but bounced quite badly as it landed. Power was increased, and the crew prepared to go round again, but as the aircraft climbed away, its undercarriage hit an obstruction, and seconds later it ploughed into the tops of nearby trees and crashed near the village of Edith Weston, four miles south east of Oakham. Seven on board were killed and one was injured. According to the Controller the aircraft made a good approach and touched down with a slight bounce. However it was established that the aircraft had struck a NAAFI van and was damaged, judging by the state of the van. The aircraft settled down again then opened up and took off. From an examination of the wreck it appeared that the port wing hit trees and was ripped off in the crash.

The crew members of FD431 were:

Pilot Officer Bernard William Drake (55096) (RAF) (Staff Pilot)
Flight Sergeant William Henry Ford (1535240) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Dennis William Gilbert (627389) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer Donald Campbell McLellan (424442) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant W G Radcliffe (2222927) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) Injured
Sergeant James Thompson (3040793) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Terence George Truskett (428001) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Ian Bailey Yorkston (429072) (Navigator)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A750, 166/40/364

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